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Curriculum Intent





Hollywater School Curriculum Statement


Hollywater School is an accessible, inclusive and integral part of the community.  It is a school where diversity is celebrated and strong partnerships are built. The curriculum provides challenging and stimulating learning experiences, with realistic yet high expectations of standards, progress and achievement for all. Hollywater School strives towards enabling pupils and students to……..




The curriculum at Hollywater School aims to provide all pupils with a range of meaningful and appropriate learning opportunities that engages them so that they all learn and achieve skills that will prepare them for adult life. The curriculum caters for the needs of all individual learners but also provides opportunities to challenge thinking and learning. As pupils move through the school, the skills they need for the future become an integral part of their learning. These include communication, mobility, independence, relationships, self-esteem and self-confidence, self-regulation skills and personal and social development.


Early Years ( EY ) Curriculum :

Within Early Years ( EY ) education pupils will be learning specific key skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development. Pupils work on and develop the 3 prime areas first. These are :


  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development


These prime areas are those most essential for pupil’s healthy development and future

learning. As pupils grow and develop, the prime areas help them to develop skills in 4 more specific areas. These are :


  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design


These 7 areas are used to plan activities to support pupil’s learning and are the basis for a range of Child Initiated Play ( CIP ) activities. This creates a curriculum that is suitable for very young children, and is designed to be flexible so that all staff can follow every pupils unique needs and interests. Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage ( EYFS ) learn through playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place using a range of learning environments including indoors and outside.


Formal Curriculum ( MLD ) :

At Hollywater School all pupils encounter a curriculum that is differentiated to meet their learning needs, that provides pupils with a range of stimulating contexts for learning within over-arching topics and is fun and engaging. Within the Hollywater curriculum pupils are encouraged to be independent learners and they are supported with challenge to ensure they reach their optimum potential.


EQUALS Curriculum ( SLD ) :

The EQUALS curriculum is a life skills based curriculum. This curriculum offers pupils a mixture of elements of a differentiated National Curriculum alongside pupils learning transferable real life skills which will equip them for life beyond school.

At Hollywater, the EQUALS Curriculum is offered to our SLD pupils. This curriculum provides the pupils with the continued opportunities to physically learn and practice a range of life skills. The topics covered within the EQUALS curriculum focuses heavily on developing independence and includes the following :

  • My dressing and Undressing
  • My Shopping
  • My Cooking/ Food Technology
  • My travel Training
  • My Communication
  • My Thinking and Problem Solving
  • My Play and Leisure

In addition to the EQUALS curriculum our SLD pupils will also participate in Attention Autism sessions. This is an intervention model designed by Gina Davies, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist. It aims to develop natural and spontaneous communication through the use of visually based and highly motivating activities. The primary objective is that the sessions are fun and “offer an irresistible invitation to learn”! Pupils progress through four stages of Attention Autism building upon skills at each level. Stage 1 is to focus attention, Stage 2 is the attention builder, Stage 3 is turn taking and re- engaging attention and stage 4 is shifting attention and transition. The overall aims of Attention Autism are to :

  • To engage attention
  • To improve joint attention
  • To develop shared enjoyment in group activities
  • To increase attention in adult-led activities
  • To encourage spontaneous interaction in a natural group setting
  • To increase non-verbal and verbal communication through commenting
  • To build a wealth and depth of vocabulary
  • To have fun


Sensory Curriculum ( SLD and PMLD ) :

The Hollywater sensory curriculum is a sensory approach to learning that focuses on developing the pupils understanding of the world around them as well as developing social interactions and relationships. Within this curriculum the process, as much as the achievement, is valued and it is highly flexible in order to be responsive to the learner. This curriculum focuses specifically on communication, cognition, physical development and self-help and independence skills.

The curriculum is split into 5 areas:


  • My Communication
  • My Thinking
  • My Self
  • My Creativity
  • My Physical Development
  • My World


In addition to the above the sensory curriculum also incorporates the following :


Quest for Learning (QfL):

Quest for Learning is a way of developing and assessing pupils' who are working on their early cognition, sensory and communication skills, which is the foundation of learning. It is arranged into 43 milestones, which range from pupils being able to notice a stimuli presented to them to being able to initiate an action to achieve a desired result. The pupils are currently set 3 QfL targets to work on at any one time and these targets are integrated into their learning within lessons.


Sounds of Intent :

Sounds of Intent encourages pupils to develop early "musical" skills, although this also includes the development of responding to environmental sounds and making verbal sounds. Sounds of Intent is split into three key areas: Responding to sounds, making sounds themselves and interacting with sounds. PMLD pupils use this as a basis for both their musical and phonics development.


Additional therapies :

Hydrotherapy and Physiotherapy are also important aspects of this curriculum. The pupils spend part of their timetable engaged in these activities to help keep the pupils as mobile and supple as possible.


Further Education ( FE ) Curriculum :

Within FE we aim to prepare students for the challenges of independent living and future prospects. We provide them with opportunities that enable them to make appropriate decisions and choices within a range of different settings. Our FE provision has a balanced curriculum which promotes the following:


  • developing functional Numeracy, Literacy and IT skills,
  • builds on and develops life skills
  • builds on and develops communication and social skills
  • provides pupils with the opportunity to experience and develop various employability skills, creative skills, leisure skills and any interests and aspirations


Our students are offered personalised pathways tailored to meet their needs and interests. Our curriculum offers accredited Programmes of Study for ASDAN Personal Progress ( Entry Level 1), ASDAN Personal and Social Development (Entry Level 1 and 2) OCR Life and Living Communication, Numeracy and IT (Entry Level 1,2,3). We regularly use our local community as a teaching environment, providing our students with everyday life experiences to practice and learn a wide range of skills.


Throughout their time in FE pupils will be working on a wide range of Units and they will build a portfolio of their work. Their work will be submitted for external moderation and they will be accredited with a qualification. Where possible students are offered short college courses and/or workplace experiences. Students are given the opportunity to further develop their skills, interests and aspirations in a safe and secure setting.


Within all of Hollywater’s curriculum pathways pupils will experience a range of learning opportunities that will help build on and develop their skills in the following curriculum subject areas :


Communication, Language and Literacy / English

At Hollywater, we aim for pupils to become effective communicators. We believe that the development of Language and Literacy skills are of the highest priority.  We aim to provide an approach which makes communication accessible to all across the school.  Although Communication, Language and Literacy will be taught discretely in English, all lessons will explore opportunities for practising, developing and embedding these important skills across all areas of the curriculum.


At Hollywater we use, where appropriate, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), including signing, symbols, objects, pictures/photos and Voice Output Communication Aids (VOCA). Our active and experiential curriculum provides pupils with ample opportunities to express themselves and develop their ability to use a wide range of communication techniques within various social situations.


Speaking and Listening

From the beginning children are actively encouraged to speak, listen and communicate.  We aim to give pupils opportunities:


  • to communicate effectively using speech and/or AAC aids as appropriate
  • for school, class, small group and individual discussion, expression of ideas and presentations
  • to develop their oral abilities and vocabulary at their own levels
  • to develop listening and comprehension skills through a range of activities
  • to express opinions, articulate feelings and formulate appropriate responses to increasingly complex instructions and questions
  • to develop the skills for turn taking, concentration and attention
  • to participate in and respond to drama, story, rhyme, song and imaginative play



Pupils are actively encouraged to engage in writing as soon as possible, and to record clearly, accurately and confidently for a variety of purposes and audiences across the curriculum.  This can include mark making, writing, using AAC aids and IT.  We aim to give pupils opportunities:


  • to use writing as a tool to aid learning and to record their experiences in a wide range of activities
  • to employ a variety of forms suitable to the context, purpose and audience
  • to explore writing processes through discussion in a supportive learning context
  • to participate in the thinking involved in structuring writing
  • to develop their handwriting into cursive script when ready


Reading and Phonics


At Hollywater School Phonics is taught in a discrete weekly lesson and then integrated into cross –curricular sessions. We use the ‘Synthetic Phonics’ approach to teaching Phonics to help pupils learn the skills necessary for reading. We believe that children learning to read need to learn that sounds are represented by written letters and that by blending the sounds together they make words. At Hollywater School it is our aim to provide children with the skills necessary to be able to read confidently and to be able to access information throughout the curriculum.


Children are given many opportunities to develop their reading skills. Through our Phonics programme our pupils are taught to:


  • recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes (phoneme).
  • recognise the written letter that the sound represents (grapheme).
  • identify the sounds of different combinations of letters and blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.
  • use this knowledge to ‘decode’ new words that they hear or see.



At Hollywater School, we believe that it is important to promote a love of reading. We aim to provide pupils with the confidence, fluency and understanding required to achieve a lifetime of enjoyment through reading.


Each pupil will encounter regular reading sessions which focus on improving reading and comprehension skills. Children have the opportunity to read in school independently, in groups, or as a whole class. Pupils are able to listen to adults and other children read throughout all areas of the curriculum.


Pupils also have regular timetabled visits to our school library and some classes are able to visit the local library to enrich and broaden their experience of books and literature. It is through the local library that we promote pupils to participate in the Reading Challenge events throughout the year both in school and at home. We also celebrate the love of books through our annual World Book Day event. Pupils are encouraged to dress up as their favourite character and pupils and staff have lots of opportunities to read and talk about their favourite books – promoting enjoyment through reading.


At Hollywater School our reading aims are:


  • To promote reading for pleasure.
  • To promote confidence and positive attitudes to reading through access to a wide range of literature.
  • To develop phonetic skills which lead to blending and reading accurately and fluently.
  • To broaden their vocabulary.
  • To develop comprehension skills, and enable children to analyse what they read and to participate in discussion and debate about texts.
  • To monitor pupils’ progress through the use of a range of assessment strategies e.g. reading age tests, on-going reading observations and gathering evidence of progress within the school assessment system.
  • To support those children who require additional support with their reading.


In KS4 pupils are working towards an Entry Level qualification or if appropriate a Level 1 accreditation.  



Mathematics is a part of our everyday life, which is why at Hollywater School we aim for our Maths lessons to be practical and related to the real world. Our Maths curriculum is planned and adapted to support our pupils’ individual needs and capabilities. Thus suiting their abilities and learning styles; of the pupils, empowering the students to succeed. Assessment for learning takes place during the lessons to enable teachers to build upon pupils’ prior knowledge, concrete concepts being explored and develop further understanding. Pupils are invited to be a part of the assessment process whereby they self-evaluate their work, which raises their self-awareness.  

We aim for pupils to enjoy and achieve in Maths by : 

· having a positive approach and encouraging an “ I can…” attitude 

· clear expectations with the WALT ( We Are Learning To ) being shared in each lesson 

· delivering thoroughly differentiated activities 

· having active, practical and exploratory opportunities 

· giving opportunities to problem solve and investigate 

· providing encouragement to communicate and share findings / understanding 

· using IT to support learning and make cross-curricular links 

In KS4 pupils are either working towards Unit Awards, an Entry Level qualification or if appropriate a Level 1 accreditation.  



Science gives learners the opportunity to discover the world around them through an engaging, practical and multi-sensory approach. Learners gain an understanding of key scientific concepts. Curiosity is fostered and learners have opportunities to pursue enquiries, through the observation, enquiry and application model. KS1, 2 & 3 are taught Science via a topic-based curriculum which helps to teach concepts through a cross-curricular approach.  All pupils access the three main individual Science subjects of Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. At KS4 some pupils access a range of accreditations in science, entered by ability. These include Unit Awards, Entry Level Certification and GCSE where appropriate.


Using a practical, hands-on approach wherever possible; there is an emphasis on laboratory skills or experiments which include all areas of Health and Safety. Pupils are challenged to think imaginatively and to be critical scientists – to use and show understanding, rather than to simply reproduce, the factual basis of their learning. Lessons are planned to encourage the use of our whole school environment, working outside whenever possible.


Computing / Information Technology ( IT )

At Hollywater School, the teaching of Computing and IT equips pupils with the developing knowledge and understanding that enables them to make changes in the world both independently or with adult support. Through Computing, teachers at Hollywater School will introduce and help pupils to understand the concepts of how digital systems work. Pupils will be taught to use this knowledge to create programs and a range of content ensuring pupils are able to express themselves in a digitally literate manner. This will enable pupils at Hollywater School to become active participants in the digital world.

Digital Literacy is an important element of our Computing curriculum and it is through this key area that we are able to ensure that we equip our learners to use technology in a safe and respectful manner.

Within Early Years, objectives for Computing are taken from the ‘Understanding the World - Technology’ strand of the EYFS. Pupils begin to understand that they can interact with things around them. They experiment with cause and effect and begin to understand that computers are sources of information and that they can use computers and programs to explore their interests and express their ideas.


Within the Primary and Secondary curriculum teachers are able to draw on the pupil’s prior knowledge and understanding – building on existing skills and begin to introduce the key concepts of computing including algorithms, programming and reasoning. This includes the teaching of basic IT skills such as typing, logging on and using relevant word-processing and presentation packages. If appropriate pupils in KS4 will work towards achieving an Entry Level qualification or if appropriate a Level 1 accreditation.  

Computing has strong links with Mathematics, Science, Literacy, Creativity and Discovery lessons. Teachers planning includes opportunities to teach knowledge and key skills in Computing and the promotion of PSHCE skills and speaking and listening. Generic learning skills involving thinking, creativity, evaluation and independence are also identified and promoted wherever appropriate.

E-Safety is incorporated into every aspect and is a core feature of the curriculum. At Hollywater School we have a separate E-Safety Policy to ensure that all children are safeguarded and are aware of the dangers within the online world today.


Creativity - Art 

Art is taught within Expressive Art and Design lessons in Early Years and in Creativity lessons in KS1, KS2, and KS3. Art is a subject area where pupils are encouraged to use a range of materials and media to express and record their ideas. They will experience drawing, sketching, painting, sculpting, craft and design techniques. Pupils practise and develop their creative skills and will learn about a variety of artists, craft makers and designers and understand the historical cultural development of their art forms. They will work towards evaluating and analysing creative works of artists and of their peers. They will be encouraged to be creative and use their imagination. Pupils have had opportunities to explore Art within the local environment and specialists have run various Art workshops in school with a range of pupils. At the end of each year an Art gallery is set up displaying pupils work throughout the academic year.


Religious Education ( RE )

There is a Religious Education framework in place for all Key Stages that enables us to provide pupils with learning experiences that cover the six main world religions; concepts that are common to many religions; concepts that are specific to particular religions and concepts common to religious and non–religious experience. The framework provides scope to include the Beliefs, Values and Teachings (BVT) and Expressions of Faith (E of F) of the various religions. 

RE is part of the Hollywater curriculum and all pupils participate in RE as far as possible unless parents specifically request their withdrawal. RE is taught in discrete single weekly lessons, however, there is overlap with other lessons – particularly within the Discovery and Creativity curriculum - and reinforcement through the SMSC programme of the school.

In endeavouring to provide lessons that are stimulating, engaging and meet the learning abilities of all pupils, teachers create and use resources that aim to support the learning of pupils across a spectrum of learning styles. This includes the use of artefacts, big books, video, drama, dressing-up and a range of art/craft activities. Pupils are encouraged to communicate their own responses to concepts e.g. how do they feel about celebration at all times.

Pupils also gain hands-on experiences through various RE visits throughout the year with visitors to school and pupils going out in the community.

At Hollywater School collective worship takes place throughout the year through the celebration of key religious events. It is through these events that we promote among pupils a clear set of personal values and beliefs. Pupils also collectively gather weekly within a whole school ‘Celebration Assembly’. This provides staff and pupils with the opportunity to share and celebrate pupils’ achievements throughout the week. Pupils gather as a class on a daily basis during circle time. This provides pupils with the opportunity to develop their skills and attitudes, and recognise and learn to manage their feelings. It is a key strategy in developing self-esteem and moving children towards taking responsibility for their own actions.


External visitors, related to a range of different religions, are also able to attend a specific collective worship session which is organised by the RE lead teacher.


Social Moral Spiritual and Cultural Education (SMSC)

SMSC is not a discrete subject, it is taught and experienced throughout the whole ethos of Hollywater School. The key elements of SMSC are:

Spiritual - All areas of the curriculum are able to provide a sense of enjoyment and fascination with pupil’s use of imagination and creativity.

Moral – Pupils learn the difference between right and wrong, and develop respect for all.

Social – Pupils are given the opportunity to develop social skills in varied contexts. Pupils are able to access the community within varied social settings.

Cultural – Pupils are encouraged to embrace and understand cultural diversity as well as exploring their own cultural heritage.

At Hollywater School we aim to develop communication, participation and responsibility. SMSC education promotes the ‘wellbeing’ of all our students, preparing them for future life in society.


Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education ( PSHCE )

PSHCE is timetabled and discretely taught on a weekly basis in each class. It is also taught through cross curricular opportunities, e.g. RSE and Drugs Education within Science, E-safety within Computing and Healthy Eating within Creativity - Design and Technology.

Our PSHCE curriculum begins at Foundation stage and continues across all key stages up to and including FE.

There are 3 core themes (PSHE Association 2013) and these are :

  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Relationships
  • Living in the wider world and Economic wellbeing

In addition there are 4 specialist areas that are covered through a developmentally appropriate curriculum. These areas are :

  • Relationship and Sex Education ( RSE )
  • British values
  • Anti –radicalisation
  • Safety Education including e safety


The PSHCE framework is divided into half termly programmes of study. In Secondary the PSHCE curriculum incorporates the Equals programmes of study. In KS4 pupils are given the opportunity to work towards the Duke of Edinburgh Awards at Bronze and Silver level.

Daily circle time in all classes is allocated to address social and emotional health and wellbeing  and behaviour management.


Creativity - Music and Drama

At Hollywater School Music is taught by class teachers in Early Years and Primary, Key Stage 3 pupils are taught by a specialist Music teacher from the Hampshire Music Service. All pupils are given the opportunity to join in large scale County events throughout the year.

Creativity - Design and Technology ( DT ) including Food Technology ( FT )

Design and Technology ( DT ) is an inspiring and practical subject which aims to prepare all young people with the necessary skills to live and work in the designed and made world.  From Early Years up to Key stage 4 pupils experience a range of projects in areas such as textiles, resistant materials, graphic design, electronics and computer aided design. 

Pupils are encouraged and supported to consider : 

  • user- who is it for ?
  • purpose – what is its job ? 
  • functionality – does it work ?
  • design decisions – pupils making choices about their designs
  • innovation- pupils are encouraged to be original and come up with their own ideas 
  • authenticity  - products that are real, believable and meaningful


Food Technology ( FT ) is interesting, creative, and exciting; from Early Years ( EY ) up to Further Education ( FE ) the emphasis is placed on learning by doing.

The aim of the FT curriculum is to provide each and every student with the opportunity to experience and develop knowledge and understanding of a broad range of practical life skills, techniques and recipes. Students access a broad range of ingredients, and in learning practically, experience their nutritional, functional and sensory properties.

Students explore their creativity in cooking and in preparing a variety of healthy dishes hygienically and safely. They learn about balanced diets and about the nutritional needs of different groups in society. Pupils experience and are taught about the production of food, considering nutritional, social, economic and cultural requirements of consumers. FT and the skills it provides can be found cross-curricular in Science, Maths, English, PE and RE. This enables teachers to ensure that skills are embedded and pupils are experiencing FT in real life terms. 


Physical Education ( PE )

At Hollywater School pupils have access to weekly PE lessons offered by experienced members of staff within school and externally trained professionals. We ensure that lessons are adapted to meet the learning needs of all pupils with a focus on teaching pupils the fundamentals of movement as well as teaching them specific sport skills and tactics. We have trained staff in rebound therapy, which is a programme that utilises a trampoline to facilitate movement, promote balance, promote an increase or decrease in muscle tone, promote relaxation and sensory integration, improve fitness and exercise tolerance and improve communication skills. We encourage exercise and sport throughout the year through various events including Sports Day, the Golden Mile, inter-house tournaments and inter-school events. 



Within Careers we aim to nurture pupils’ aspirations and expand their horizons, we focus on building on pupils’ self-esteem and developing life and employability skills and we aim to provide pupils with the confidence to seek employment and ensure that they are employment ready.

Careers advice is given to some pupils and is delivered by Hampshire Futures. Hollywater School delivers a framework using Careers Education Guidance ( CEG ) that provides pupils with opportunities to experience coaching lessons based on aspects of work experience, development of mini-enterprise projects in school, and the opportunity to create a personal development portfolio. Hollywater ensures that the careers programme delivered meets all 8 Gatsby benchmarks.

Hollywater School delivers Personal Social Development ( PSD ) ASDAN units for FE and FE pupils also have experiences of workplaces and encounters with employers.

All Year 11 pupils have workplace and employer encounters and pupils have access to a wide range of information about various college courses.

College prospectuses are provided to all Year 11 pupils.  Options at Post 16 and 19 are shared with pupils and Parents at different times throughout the year and include information about local colleges, apprenticeships, supported internships and traineeships.


Discovery - Humanities

In KS1, KS2 and KS3 History and Geography are taught through Discovery lessons. Within these lessons pupils are taught the factual elements and they are provided with a range of hands-on experiences that enable them to have a greater insight into life and cultures within different periods of time. Pupils will also learn about their own personal history at every opportunity. In KS1 we cover topics like Houses and Homes, Seasons, the local area and toys and games. A few examples of the KS2 topics are rivers, development of a local area, a country or the Iron Age. In KS3 we cover geographical topics such as India, the weather and climate and population and urbanisation and we also cover history topics such as WW1 and The Middle Ages.

Within the Discovery topics time is spent exploring the language of specific countries from around the world.